Thursday, February 2, 2017

Letter Writing

Today we text and we have cell phones, email, instant messaging, etc. Back in the 19th century letter writing was at the heart of almost all correspondence. Below is an example given by Arthur Martine in his little book "Martine's sensible letter-writer." ©1866 I stumbled across this little gem while searching ebay, believe it or not. Google books has the entire book available for download You might want to download a copy to get a sense of the language used during that time period. You won't find LOL or any of the other modern day short cuts but it is quite enjoyable to see how they choose their wording.

To a Friend, on being Married.
New York, Oct. 10th, 18—. My Dear Frank,—I believe there are certain stereotyped phrases in which it is customary to congratulate newly married folks ; but utterly discarding all rules and regulations in such cases made and provided, I wish you joy in the familiar words which our friendship warrants and my feelings suggest. If your married life is half as happy as I desire it to be, you will have good cause to be satisfied with your lot. Present my kind regards and compliments to your bride. Wishing you many happy returns of the anniversary of the wedding-day, I remain, Your attached friend,
Frederick Fielding.
To Francis Moore, Esq., Cincinnati, Ohio.
Reply to the Foregoing.
Broadway, Cincinnati, Oct . 15th, 18—. Dear Fred,—Lest you should think my happiness— which I can assure you is complete—has made me forgetful of a valued friend, I take the earliest possible opportunity of thanking you for the good wishes you tender to myself and my dear Lucy. I think they will be realized as far as mutual affection can realize them. To say the truth, I am so delighted with my condition as a Benedict that I feel inclined to say to every bachelor and widower, "Go and do likewise." Yours truly,
Frank Moore.

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